22 January 2008

when fiction offends

I read this article from the Bangkok Post (22 January 2008) with bemusement

Air hostesses all steamed up over steamy soap


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Reacting furiously to a steamy new TV series about passion at high altitudes, which it says tarnishes its air hostesses' image, the labour union of Thai Airways International is urging the airline's management to suspend sponsorship of all programmes made by the show's producer Exact Co.

Somsak Srinual, president of the union, said yesterday the demand for the suspension of sponsorship would put pressure on Exact and its parent company, GMM Media Plc, to adjust the story line of its prime time series Songkhram Nang Fah (Air Hostess War), which was launched on Channel 5 last week.

''I'd like to ask Exact if the series will improve society or benefit viewers. It introduces violence just to improve the series' ratings,'' he said.

The labour union is complaining because the show depicts air hostesses engaging in fisticuffs, with a dashing pilot as the prize.

The story tarnishes the image of flight attendants and is immoral, Mr Somsak said. Although the series claims to be based on the true story of a flight attendant, scenes of air hostesses fighting each other are fictitious, he said.

He demanded Exact adjust the plot and said his union was ready to advise on the professionalism of air hostesses in real life. Only when the company agreed to the demand would the union stop applying pressure for the programme to be pulled.

He claimed flight attendants of other domestic airlines also disliked the series and backed the THAI union's actions.

The union yesterday filed a written complaint with Exact and will also complain to the Culture Ministry and to Channel 5.

THAI's in-flight manager Pichitra Taveerat said she found the uniforms worn by air hostesses in the show were inappropriate. The skirts were too short and the attendants showed too much cleavage.

Ms Pichitra suggested the series should present the life of flight attendants constructively, in the same way that Japanese series Good Luck!! did.

THAI flight attendant Benjamas Pooklomtuan said the series damaged the image of both flight attendants and the national airline.

Nawat Kulrattanarak, the actor who plays the pilot, said fights over affairs of the heart could happen to people in any profession. ''This story can be found in every profession, not just in the airline business. The lead role in other stories may be a businessman,'' he said.

If nobody was watching this show in Thailand, they will now. If you read Thai - here is the website. Anybody who has ever flown Thai Airways and experienced the polite service from the cabin crew would know that a fictional show is just that.

The image “http://www.tv5.co.th/drama/war_angel/images/war_angel.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “http://www.tv5.co.th/drama/images/air01.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For a start, the local industry and the Thai media could do away with using the term 'air hostess' which is rather demeaning.

I wonder what they would have thought about the UK series Mile High (which I quite enjoyed when it was screened here in Australia).
Mile High is a heady mix of fast paced drama and sexy comedy. Set around the antics of Fresh airlines staff their saucy and dramatic antics soar as high as the planes they service on. Starring gorgeous British actress Naomi Ryan as the sensual, impulsive but vulnerable Lehann, hunky Tom Wisdom as sweet, shy, boy-next-door Marco; Adam Sinclair as the flamboyantly gay Will and the lovely Jo-Anne Knowles as the Bitch From Hell purser Janis.
The image “http://www.skyone.co.uk/images/programme/25/current/mil_overview_pic.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

File under 'storm in a teacup'.

I fell asleep after I arrived home from work today, which I haven't done in awhile.

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